This special edition of Wrongful Conviction features Jason Flom’s exclusive interview with Brendan Dassey from behind bars—the only interview ever conducted with Brendan. The case against Brendan, and his uncle Steven Avery, is the subject of Netflix’s hit series Making a Murderer. In 2006, 16 year old Wisconsin special education student Brendan Dassey gave a videotaped confession to the murder and sexual assault of a young woman named Teresa Halbach. That confession – extracted from Brendan after four interrogations over a 48 hour period – has been widely recognized as false and coerced due to Brendan’s inability to describe the crime accurately without being told the “right” answers by his interrogators. In fact, Brendan recanted his confession immediately, and no evidence connects him to Halbach’s disappearance. Nonetheless, he was convicted based on that confession and sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole before 2048. In 2016, two courts threw out Brendan’s confession and overturned his conviction – and Brendan came within twelve hours of release – before a federal appeals court reversed course on legal grounds. After visiting Brendan in prison, Jason Flom and Brendan’s attorney, Laura Nirider of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, unravel the case as Brendan joins them by phone from behind bars. Their conversation touches on hope, resilience, and the fact that Brendan – who will turn 30 on October 19, 2019 – has already lost fourteen of his life to wrongful imprisonment.
You might also like
Contact Our Office
Copyright 2020, Public Defender, Ninth Judicial Circuit. The material found on this web site is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered to be legal advice and is not guaranteed to be complete or up to date. Use of this web site is not intended to create, nor constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Readers should not rely upon or act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.
The Orange County Public Defender is committed to ensuring that persons with disabilities have access to its website. If the format of any material on our website is not accessible due to a disability, please e-mail PDADCoordinator@circuit9.org or call (407) 836-4806.